11/5/2012 1:10:00 PM Sundogs split in South Dakota; head home for 3 with Cutthroats
Sonja Erickson/Courtesy Arizona’s Jake Hauswirth, right, tries to muscle in on Jordan Behler of the Rush Saturday night in Rapid City.
Courtesy of The Daily Courier
The Arizona Sundogs will return to Prescott Valley this week for a three-game series against the CHL expansion Denver Cutthroats after splitting two contests with the Rapid City (S.D.) Rush.
Rapid City snapped the Sundogs' two-game winning streak Saturday night in South Dakota, nipping Arizona, 2-1, to dip the hometown club's record to 3-2-2.
The Sundogs won the series opener, 4-2, on Friday and are now tied with Rapid City for third place in the Berry Conference with 8 points.
The Rush (4-2-0 record) out-shot the Sundogs 39-27, including 20-14 in the decisive second period.
Rapid City forward Jared Brown scored two goals early in the second that proved to be the difference in a tight contest.
Brown connected one minute and 25 seconds into the frame on an assist from defenseman Garrett Gruenke, and tallied about 2-1/2 minutes later on helpers from forwards Scott Brannon and Jordan Baker.
Arizona forward Johan Ryd of Sodertalje, Sweden, cut the Rush lead to 2-1 with his first goal of the young season close to the mid-way point of the second on assists from forwards Adam Smyth and Jason Morgan.
However, the Sundogs failed to get much going offensively in the third period and wound up 0-for-3 on the power play for the evening. Two of those power plays came in the first period.
Arizona net minder David Brown took the loss, making 37 saves on 39 shots in 59-1/2 minutes, despite the defense killing two penalties in the third period alone.
The Sundogs open their series against the Cutthroats at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday at Tim's Toyota Center.
Denver is 3-3-0 (6 points) and rides a two-game winning streak into Prescott Valley after convincing 5-3 and 7-1 victories over the Fort Worth (Texas) Brahmas Friday and Saturday, respectively. The Cutthroats have played five of their first six games at home. Their only road contest came at Rapid City, which they lost, 3-2, Oct. 26.
Denver forward A.J. Gale of Nanaimo, British Columbia, is currently tied with Bloomington (Ill.) Blaze forward Jon Booras for the CHL scoring lead with 12 points. Gale has scored five goals and notched seven assists in six games.